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Why Do Defaults Affect Behavior? Experimental Evidence from Afghanistan

Metadata Updated: August 14, 2022

We report on an experiment examining why default options impact behavior. By randomly assigning employees to different varieties of a salary-linked savings account, we find that default enrollment increases participation by 40 percentage points—an effect equivalent to providing a 50% matching incentive. We then use a series of experimental interventions to differentiate between explanations for the default effect, which we conclude is driven largely by present-biased preferences and the cognitive cost of thinking through different savings scenarios. Default assignment also changes employees' attitudes toward saving, and makes them more likely to actively decide to save after the study concludes.

Blumenstock, Joshua, Callen, Michael, and Ghani, Tarek. Replication data for: Why Do Defaults Affect Behavior? Experimental Evidence from Afghanistan. Nashville, TN: American Economic Association [publisher], 2018. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2019-12-07. https://doi.org/10.3886/E116198V1

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Public: This dataset is intended for public access and use. License: No license information was provided. If this work was prepared by an officer or employee of the United States government as part of that person's official duties it is considered a U.S. Government Work.

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Dates

Metadata Created Date August 14, 2022
Metadata Updated Date August 14, 2022

Metadata Source

Harvested from USAID JSON

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Created Date August 14, 2022
Metadata Updated Date August 14, 2022
Publisher USAID
Maintainer
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Data First Published 2021-10-04
Language en
Data Last Modified 2022-02-09
Category Financial Sector
Public Access Level public
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Harvest Source Title USAID JSON
Homepage URL https://data.usaid.gov/d/fdub-52tj
Program Code 184:027
Source Datajson Identifier True
Source Hash 6e9753a8a16e4fd1a6eb56ba2050ff6669a750d7
Source Schema Version 1.1

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